MotoGP > MotoGP 2006 Round 01: Spanish GP > Race Results
MotoGPSpainMarch 26, 2006
MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 1
Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez Race Results

Dani Defies Doubters With Storming Podium Debut

Qualifying >>

The remarkable rise of ‘rookie’ Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC211V) continued in Andalucia in front of a crowd of 131,000 when the 20-year-old finished second to Loris Capiorossi (Ducati) – his first competitive ride on a 990cc machine. Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC211V) was third.



Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)


Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)


Honda’s policy of backing youth paid off handsomely in this the first of 17 track showdowns. There were five Honda riders among the top six finishers: Pedrosa second, then Hayden, Toni Elias (Fortuna Honda RC211V) in fourth, Marco Melandri (Fortuna Honda RC211V) fifth and Casey Stoner (LCR Honda RC211V) sixth. And both Pedrosa and Stoner are MotoGP rookies.

Poleman Capirossi powered up the short hill into turn one from the lights and led the field into turn two – all but Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) who tumbled from his machine while caught in mid-pack. The reigning World Champion managed to restart to finish 14th.

As the dust settled at turn one, the early race order was Capirossi, Melandri, Sete Gibernau (Ducati), Hayden, Shinya Nakano (Kawasaki), Stoner and then Dani. But Gibernau failed to complete lap two and dropped out of the race.

Capirossi looked comfortable and began to stretch out a lead over his pursuers. Melandri found it increasingly hard to match the Italian’s pace and by lap three Hayden had overhauled Melandri for second and had began working on Capirossi.

But he could make no impression on the race leader. It was his team-mate Pedrosa who would take up the fight. Dani had now passed Stoner for third and Hayden would soon be his next victim as he remorselessly hunted down the leader.

By lap seven of this 27-lap encounter around the undulating 4.423km of Jerez, Dani was ahead of Hayden and now faced a 2.25 second gap to Capirossi. By lap nine this was down to just 1.4 seconds. By mid-race distance it was just 0.8 seconds.

But Dani couldn’t quite get on terms with the rapid Capirossi and even though the gap was down to 0.55 seconds as the closing stages of the race loomed, Capirossi had enough in hand to open it out again 1.23 seconds by lap 25. At the flag he won by 4.375 seconds.

At one stage it looked as if Dani might be shadowing the leader to pounce on the final lap as he has done so successfully in the smaller classes. But this time he was left to collect a second place on his debut. His rivals will take keen notice of this early success.

Fourth-placed Elias rode a determined race. He was mixed up in the Rossi melée on lap one, but managed to claw his way back through the field and only just missed out on third place as he hounded Hayden across the line.

But the day belonged to debutant Dani, who said, “To start like this is amazing for me! I want to thank my team because they have worked really hard all this weekend and during the winter. And also a big thank you to Michelin because they gave us really good tyres. The race was difficult for me because at the end I was really tired and the tyre was spinning and sliding, so I think this result is very good.”

His team-mate Hayden said, “It wasn’t pretty with a few guys dropping out, but nonetheless we’ll take the 16 points and the podium. Last year I crashed out so it’s nice to get off and running with some momentum. We were testing here two weeks ago and at that point we didn’t have a chance. But we’ve made a big step, so thanks to the team and Honda and all my guys who worked really hard this winter.”

“It was a really tough race,” said Elias. “But one of the best of my life. I feel sorry for Valentino, but it was a really close start and we all reached the end of the straight bunched together. I was right next to Shinya Nakano and when I tried to avoid him I clipped Valentino. I went to apologize to him after the race. After that I managed to find a good rhythm and was able to fight back. I want to thank the fans for being the best in the world.”

Melandri said, “It was a very difficult race, but at least we have taken some very important points. The changes we made to the bike during the warm-up did not work as well as we hoped and we took a bit of a backwards step. I made a good start but did not want to push too hard and risk the points. I am still not very comfortable with the front end of the bike so we'll have to work on that.”

Rookie Stoner, in sixth, said, “I honestly didn’t expect that after missing nine days of testing, but thanks to the LCR team for giving me a good bike to be able to do it. I got a good start and when the Rossi crash held people up I got away with the leaders and held on.”

“I knew a top ten was possible,” said Kenny Roberts (Roberts KR211V), who finished eighth. “When I saw Rossi go down I knew this would be a tough race. The front was moving every time I pushed but we know what we’ve got to do to improve the bike and we’ll get better than this.”

Makoto Tamada (Konica Minolta Honda RC211V) finished tenth and said, “I hope the situation improves. Tomorrow we will remain here testing and the team has many solutions to try. The main problem occurs in the first phase of the corner and this slows me down considerably. I don’t want to be struggling for the 10th and the race results of the other Honda bikes shows we must be able to exploit the potential we have.”

Capirossi thus heads the points table from Pedrosa as the MotoGP paddock prepares to head to Qatar for the next race on April 8.

Jorge Lorenzo (Aprilia) won his first 250cc Grand Prix from Alex de Angelis (Aprilia) with Andrea Dovizioso (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW) stealing third place in a stirring three-way fight with his team-mate Yuki Takahashi (Humangest Racing Honda RS250RW) and Hector Barbera (Aprilia).

Lorenzo made the early running in a lead group that contained the first five finishers. The only man missing at the end of 26-laps was rapid rookie Shuhei Aoyama (Repsol Honda RS250RW) who crashed out on lap two while running with the fast men at the front.

Barbera made several attempts to deprive his team-mate Lorenzo of the lead until he managed a pass on lap six. Dovi meantime was holding third while a dejected Sebastian Porto (Repsol Honda RS250RW), who had struggled all weekend, retired to the pits while way down the field.

Lorenzo had now recovered the lead from his team-mate and was joined by de Angelis as they gradually pulled clear of the chasing group of Dovi, Barbera and Takahashi. But third was where was the action was and as the closing laps counted down the struggle intensified.

Takahashi made some brave, clean moves around the outside of Barbera while Dovi tried to hold them both at bay and going into the stadium section for the final time, it was Dovi who capitalized best on the cut-throat action to broach the line in third. Martin Cardenas (Würth Honda RS250RW) finished inside the top ten in eighth.

“We had problems all week with the chassis,” said Dovizioso. “But third today is good and it makes all the hard work worthwhile. We’ve still got to make sure we can keep making improvements to make sure we are right on the pace in Qatar.”

Takahashi said, “I really enjoyed today. The bike was so good I didn’t realize that my race rhythm was so high. Then the tyres started moving around a bit and I had to slow down slightly. Then I could settle down and push again.”

Spanish hope Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) gave the crowd the result they wanted in the 125cc race with his maiden win at home. Lukas Pesek (Derbi) was second and Mattia Pasini (Aprilia) third. Reigning World Champion Thomas Luthi (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R) crashed out after 11 laps.

Bautista had the race under control after pulling out a lead over early pace-setter Pesek. He had a three second advantage over his Czech pursuer at the flag. But the action for third place was fraught throughout this 23-lap race – Pasini fully deserving his podium finish.

First Honda rider home was Gabor Talmacsi (Humangest Honda RS125R) in eighth who said, “I was physically not at one hundred percent and couldn’t breathe properly. I also felt weak. And I had problems with the quickshift again. For ten laps it was fine and then it wasn’t. So I just tried to hang onto my position.”

Luthi said, “This has been a bad weekend from start to finish. I needed four pain-killing injections in my arm and I had to wear a brace on my shoulder too. But the engine bogged on the line and I was lying 23rd on the first lap. Then I caught up some places but then hit a bump and crashed – all my fault.”

Fifteen-year-old rookie Bradley Smith (Repsol Honda RS125R) finished 17th, one place behind Sandro Cortese (Elit Grand Prix Honda RS125R), and was the third highest Honda finisher. He said, “The bike was hard to steer on a full fuel load, but I learned a lot today.”



Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)


Toni ELIAS (Fortuna Honda)


MotoGP:

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda, 2nd:
“To start like this is amazing for me! I want to thank my team because they have worked really hard all this weekend and during the winter. And also a big thank you to Michelin because they gave us really good tyres. The race was difficult for me because at the end I was really tired and the tyre was spinning and sliding, so I think this result is very good. I didn’t get a good start and I had to pass many riders, which took a long time. Loris was already gone, so I had to catch him up and when I did I was already tired. I wasn’t really dreaming of the race win because I knew he was saving his tyres. He pushed hard at the end of the race and my front tyre was sliding a little bit. I was not too confident, so I had to give up because I prefered to finish the race. I’m very happy with the result today.”

Nicky Hayden, Repsol Honda, 3rd:
“It wasn’t pretty with a few guys dropping out, but nonetheless we’ll take the 16 points and the podium. Last year I crashed out so it’s nice to get off and running with some momentum. We were testing here two weeks ago and at that point we didn’t have a chance. But we’ve made a big step, so thanks to the team and Honda and all my guys who worked really hard this winter. And thanks to Repsol and Michelin too because my tyres were actually really good today.
We’ll be back testing here in the morning and we’ve still got a lot of work to do to improve. I was there with the leaders right at the beginning of the race but I didn’t quite have the pace. In turn one I was running a little wide and I’ve got to get some more traction and get the bike to turn better. It’s early man - it’s only round one and we’ll try and get stronger.”

Toni Elias, Fortuna Honda, 4th:
It was a really tough race, but one of the best of my life. I feel sorry for Valentino, but it was a really close start and we all reached the end of the straight bunched together. I was right next to Shinya Nakano and when I tried to avoid him I clipped Valentino. I went to apologize to him after the race although these things do happen in racing. After that I managed to find a good rhythm and was able to fight back. It was a real shame that after all that effort I could not get on to the podium, but I'm still really happy. I think the spectators really enjoyed it, but I want to thank them for being the best fans in the world."

Marco Melandri, Fortuna Honda, 5th:
"It was a very difficult race, but at least we have taken some very important points. The changes we made to the bike during the warm-up did not work as well as hoped s we took a bit of a backwards step. I made a good start but did not want to push too hard and risk the points I had. I am still not very comfortable with the front end of the bike so we'll have to work on that. I am confident and HRC are giving us lots of support, the test sessions tomorrow and the day after will help us improve my feeling with the bike."

Casey Stoner, LCR Honda, 6th:
"I honestly didn't expect this after missing nine days of testing so I'm very happy with this result and the support from the LCR team, they have done a great job this weekend. I made a great start and with the mix up at turn one with Rossi crashing I was able get away with the leading group. We had changed the set-up with different front forks after the problems in qualifying and the bike was much better in the race, but still not perfect, I was running wide in some corners. I want to congratulate Dani Pedrosa for his great ride into second place, he did a great job today. Physically, my shoulder was no problem although my first MotoGP race was hard work."

Kenny Roberts Jnr, KR Honda, 8th:
“You know how it is you always want more. I knew a top ten was possible. I saw Valentino go down I knew it would be a strong race pace I tried to stay consistent with grip but every time I pushed the front started sliding. We will improve ride ability we know what we have to do to the bike to get better. We brought a lot of stuff here to try and improve but didn’t really get the chance. I just want to thank my Dad’s team, Honda, Michelin and everybody who has helped us get where we are so far. I wouldn’t be where I am today without those guys.”

Makoto Tamada, Konica Minola Honda, 10th:
“I had a good start from the sixth row. I knew it would have been very hard to recuperate from there. I hoped to get a good position, even if in this moment I am not really able to drive as I would. I hope the situation will quickly improve; tomorrow we will remain here testing just for this. The KONICA MINOLTA Honda Team technicians have prepared many solutions to be tested, but up to now, the situation has never radically changed. The main problem occurs in the first phase of the corner covering: I need to wait more than I would to set the ideal line and this slows me down considerably.I’m not here struggling for the tenth position and the race result of the other Honda bikes shows that we must be able to exploit the potentials we have at the most.”


250cc:

Andrea Dovizioso, Humangest Honda, 3rd:
“I knew I could do well today and for this reason I’m not really surprised about the third place. Of course, we had some problems during the winter test and the past two days, but this is also because I don’t really like this track. In the morning’s warm up we have taken off the rear seat pad and things went much better. Actually, it is a big adjustment as it changes the position on the bike and so the set-up. We hadn’t got the time to adjust the suspension, but during the race the bike was better compare to yesterday. In the last lap, I knew Barbera would have tried to overtake Yuki and when they both went wide I braked early and could exiting the curve much faster. I kept a tighter line but he closed a bit and we touched.”

Yuki Takahashi, Humangest Honda, 4th:
“I really enjoyed today. I started very well and at the beginning the bike was so good that I didn’t realize my rhythm was high. Unfortunately, though, the rear tyre started sliding too much and I had to slow down. Then, the situation settled a bit and so, in the final part of the race, I could push again. The last three laps have been very tough and my goal was to get on the podium. I wasn’t able to do it just for few tenths of a second, but fourth place is a positive result, even because we have gathered important information for next races.”

Martin Cardenas, Wurth Honda BQR, 8th:
“I am very happy with my race and the bike was very good I am very happy with the way the team worked. I got a good start and was just behind the lead group. But once they pulled a few seconds away from me no way I could keep the pace because the front tyre was sliding I saw three crashes and decided it was best to make sure I held my position the finish.”

Arnaud Vincent, Molenaar Honda, 10th:
“During the race the conditions were much different to practice, the wind was from a different direction. I rode every lap at the maximum possible and I am really happy with the bike and the team. The engine was very good but we have some work to do on the chassis but that will come step by step.”

Arturo Tizon, Wurth Honda BQR, 12th:
”I thought I would do better today, I’m happy with 12th place and four points but I expected to run a better pace. The bike was perfect today all race until the tyres went off. But I’m pleased for the team who have worked hard for me all weekend.”

Jordi Carchano, Stop and Go Racing, 18th:
“I had a clutch problem from the warm up lap. I tried a practice start and burnt the plates. Back on the grid I had no time to check it. I stopped after one lap and the team fixed the problem. I was many laps behind but I rode out the race because I need the experience and to learn about the bike.”

Sebastian Porto, Repsol Honda, dnf – retired at the pits:

“There is not too much to say just that we are not able to make the bike work the way I need it to feel comfortable. We have worked hard, the team and Honda have done all they can to help me and I am thankful for that.”

Shuhei Aoyama, Repsol Honda, dnf – crash:“I am really disappointed with today. I got a good start but in the fast left corner the front tyre slid away and I lost the front end and crashed. It was my own fault the front tyre was cold and I pushed too hard on the first lap. In Qatar we have the possibility to work hard and try to be better.”

 

125cc:

Gabor Talmacsi, Humangest Honda, 8th:
“Physically I didn’t feel at 100%, I couldn’t breath properly through my nose and I was weak. Also, as it happened during practice, a quick shift problem slowed me down. For the first ten laps everything was good, but then it started not working and so I thought to keep my eighth position. Here Aprilia machines were very competitive, but I’m sure that in Qatar it will be better for us.”

Sandro Cortese, Elit Honda, 16th:
“The bike was really good today and the whole race was good – until the last corner. I was leading the group I was in as we came to the corner so I took a line little more to the inside to protect my position but in the middle of the corner Corsi hit me and I high-sided off the bike. I am not very happy about it but that’s racing. I’m OK apart from a badly bruised left hand.”

Bradley Smith, Repsol Honda, 17th:
“I got a good start and running up to the first corner everybody went to the right and I went outside but turning in I got bumped out and lost places. That was the first time I had raced with a full fuel load and it made the bike difficult to turn. I was running 1m 51s laps and had to push hard to get into 1m 49s times when the fuel load went down. When I found my rhythm I caught the group in front of me and passed them. On the last lap I had to be aggressive to hold on. It was my first grand prix so I am quite pleased in the circumstances. I learned a lot today.”

Mike di Meglio, FFM Honda, 21st:
“During the warm up, this morning, I crashed after 4 laps; I entered a corner a bit too fast and then I was on the ground. The Team FFM Honda GP 125’s technical staff made a really good work to provide me a bike for the race and they had to change some important parts such as exhaust in very short time.
I started quite well and I was 11th in the first laps of the race but I quickly felt that there was a problem with the rear of the bike. Each lap, I lost places and the machine became more and more difficult to ride properly. It was impossible to keep the right trajectory because the rear was very unsteady and this made me loose precious time lap by lap. I hope we will solve this problem for Qatar Grand Prix in 2 weeks.”

Lorenzo Baroni, Humangest Honda, 22nd:
“I made a good start, but all the time I was changing gear I had to close the throttle and this problem made me lose time. Also, my injured left foot was a bit painful today and so I couldn’t push as I would and score some points. Anyway, I’m happy to have finished the race: it has been a great emotion racing in front of all these people.”

Michele Conti, Valsir Seedorf Racing, 29th:
"During the test and practices of this GP I’ve learned to be more aggressive in curves like other riders. Unfortunately today I rode like in the European Championship. I’m happy to have raced: is important for me to accumulate experience. I think I can improve in few time my performances".

Joey Litjens, Molenaar Honda, 33rd:
“I am a little disappointed with my race I have a lot to learn and that’s why we’re here. My start was not so bad and the bike was good or the first few laps and I passed a few riders. But I started to have trouble with the feeling from the front and could not go faster.”

Thomas Luthi, Elit Honda, dnf – crash:
“The whole weekend from A to Z was a bad. Today I raced with a brace on my injured collarbone and I had four pain killing injections. Then off the start the engine bogged down and I was only 23rd at the end of the first lap. When I caught the group ahead and got into 16th place I hit a bump and crashed. It was my fault entirely. I am not so pleased with myself.”

Fabrizio Lai, Valsir Seedorf Racing, dnf – retired at the pits:
"I like this track and last year I was on the podium. This year I made a mistake during the official session that compromised the race, too. The shoulder and, above all, the hand ached and I had problem facing the corners. During the first lap I overtook 10 riders easily but then I lost positions due to the hand ache. I preferred to retire because I didn’t want to take the risk to crash out again. I could had been the best of Honda riders today… but we have to recover the gap from Aprilia and KTM to became competitive again ".

Aleix Espargaro, Wurth Honda BQR, dnf – retired at the pits:
“The bike was not so bad today. My start was OK but I didn’t catch so any places. Then I saw I was catching the group ahead so I pushed to catch them. When I caught them I was OK but my boot zip broke and it was flapping about. Somehow my foot came off the footrest and went under the bike and it hurt so much I had to stop. I have to go to the clinic but I don’t think it’s too serious.”

Tito Rabat, Wurth Honda BQR:
“It was a very important for me to finish the race today and I did. Racing with the world championship riders was good experience for me as I prepare for the Spanish Championship. I enjoyed the race and learned a lot and I have to thank everybody in the BQR Honda team who have worked so well for me this weekend.”

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix Round 1
Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez


line
MotoGP
1 Loris CAPIROSSI (Ducati Marlboro Team)
2 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team)
3 Nicky HAYDEN (Repsol Honda Team)
4 Toni ELIAS (Fortuna Honda)
5 Marco MELANDRI (Fortuna Honda)
6 Casey STONER (Honda LCR)
7 Shinya NAKANO (Kawasaki Racing Team)
8 Kenny ROBERTS JR (Team Roberts)
9 John HOPKINS (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
10 Makoto TAMADA (Konica Minolta Honda)
11 Colin EDWARDS (Camel Yamaha Team)
12 Chris VERMEULEN (Rizla Suzuki MotoGP)
13 Carlos CHECA (Tech 3 Yamaha)
14 Valentino ROSSI (Camel Yamaha Team)
15 Alex HOFMANN (Pramac d'Antín MotoGP)



Dani PEDROSA & Nicky HAYDEN
250cc
1 Jorge LORENZO (Fortuna Aprilia)
2 Alex DE ANGELIS (Master - MVA Aspar Team)
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Humangest Racing Team)
4 Yuki TAKAHASHI (Humangest Racing Team)
5 Hector BARBERA (Fortuna Aprilia)
6 Hiroshi AOYAMA (Red Bull KTM GP 250)
7 Roberto LOCATELLI (Team Toth)
8 Martin CARDENAS (Wurth Honda BQR)
9 Sylvain GUINTOLI (Equipe GP De France - Scrab)
10 Arnaud VINCENT (Arie Molenaar Racing)
11 Manuel POGGIALI (Red Bull KTM GP 250)
12 Arturo TIZON (Wurth Honda BQR)
13 Chaz DAVIES (TicinoHosting Campetella Racin)
14 Alvaro MOLINA (Andalucia Team Mas)
15 Dirk HEIDOLF (Kiefer - Bos - Racing)
 
125cc
1 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Master - MVA Aspar Team)
2 Lukas PESEK (Derbi Racing)
3 Mattia PASINI (Master - MVA Aspar Team)
4 Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM GP 125)
5 Julian SIMON (Red Bull KTM GP 125)
6 Hector FAUBEL (Master - MVA Aspar Team)
7 Sergio GADEA (Master - MVA Aspar Team)
8 Gabor TALMACSI (Humangest Racing Team)
9 Joan OLIVE (SSM Racing)
10 Pablo NIETO (Multimedia Racing)
11 Simone CORSI (Squadra Corse Metis Gilera)
12 Tomoyoshi KOYAMA (Malaguti Ajo Corse)
13 Lorenzo ZANETTI (Skilled I.S.P.A. Racing Team)
14 Federico SANDI (SSM Racing)
15 Andrea IANNONE (TicinoHosting Campetella JNR T)
 

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